After competing just once in all of 2021, featherweight combatant Calvin Kattar will aim for his second victory of this year when he takes on highly touted prospect Josh Emmett on June 18th in Austin Texas. Each of these men is ranked in the top ten in the division, yet neither man has been able to become a household name and reap the rewards that being a UFC superstar could potentially offer. They will enter this bout knowing that a win could catapult them towards more main events, and perhaps even that allusive title shot…
In a bout viewed as a showdown between the New England Cartel and Team Alpha Male, there is plenty of bravado and pride at stake here. The Arena in Austin is sure to be filled with energy reminiscient of the excitement brought about by a duel in the Wild Wild West. You won’t want to miss this fight between The Boston Finisher and The Fighting Falmer. There’s a lot to unpack here; without further ado, let’s get into it!
Kattar vs. Emmett
Calvin Kattar has won three out of his last four fights, including a unanimous decision over Giga Chikadze in January of this year. He is a Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who turned down an opportunity to participate in collegiate wrestling to focus on mixed martial arts. The move has paid off; Kattar is now ranked fourth in the UFC’s featherweight division and maany pundits believe he is deserving of a title shot if he can win his next bout.Embed from Getty Images
Josh Emmett is on a four fight win streak, and was once the WCFC lightweight champion. Since leaving that organization, which is headquartered in Manchester England, Emmett has slowly climbed the ranks in the UFC. If he is able to defeat Kattar on the 18th, it will be his first victory against an opponent ranked in the top five in the division. That would be a significant boost for his career, and put him one step closer to his dream, which is to compete for a world title.Embed from Getty Images
Cerrone vs. Lauzon
Cowboy Cerrone is seen as a man who is destined for the UFC’s Hall of Fame. He has had a long and storied career and many current fighters grew up idolizing him when they were young. However, he has not been victorious inside the octagon since May of 2019. To put that in perspective, Tom Brady was still a member of the New England Patriots, Deontay Wilder was the reigning WBC heavyweight champion, and Anthony Joshua was still undefeated. In other words, it’s been a long time since Cerrone has won a fight.
Joe Lauzon has been on the UFC’s roster since 2006 but has been primarily viewed as a mediocre fighter, never an elite contender. He hasn’t been seen inside the octagon by the public since October of 2019. A layoff of more than two and a half years would dull the skills of even the most gifted athlete. In Lauzon’s case, he was widely viewed as a journeyman; it will be interesting to see if he can still compete with the world’s best fighter. The going consensus is that, no matter who wins their contest, Cerrone and Lauzon should both retire after the fight.
Means vs. Holland
Welterweight prospect Tim Means enters his bout against rising star Kevin Holland on a three fight win streak. Means has a few professional boxing outings under his belt and has also competed in several smaller MMA organizations, but seems to have found a home in the UFC. Holland, on the other hand is seen as a potential superstar since his decision to return to the welterweight division. As a middleweight, he seemed to struggle against naturally bulkier fighters. However, at welterweight, his length and timing make him a very dangerous man. This will be a hotly contested fight between two warriors with immense potential. You won’t want to miss it!
Buckley vs. Duraev
Middleweight prospect Joaquin Buckley has been on the UFC’s roster for less than two years, and he’s already been awarded the prestigious “Performance of the Night” award three times. He was scheduled to face Abusupiyan Magomedov on June 4th of this year; the fight was canceled and the reasons are yet to be revealed. Nonetheless, the word out of Buckley’s training camp is that he is in the best shape of his life and is poised to add another knockout to his growing list of highlight-worthy moments.
Albert Duraev has only lost three fights since turning professional back in 2011. He is currently on a ten fight win streak, including a convincing unanimous decision victory during his UFC debut in October of last year. Although he is a newcomer to the UFC, he has been known in mixed martial arts circles for years as a dangerous opponent who could potentially contend for a title someday. If that lofty goal is to come true, he will first have to go through Joaquin Buckley, a man who is capable of ending a fight with one single blow.
Ismagulov vs. Kutateladze
Russian native, Damir Ismagulov, was the reigning M-1 Global lightweight champion before he decided to vacate the belt and join the UFC in December of 2018. Unfortunately, he has not been a very active fighter since joining the most renowned mixed martial arts organization in the world. He has only appeared in four matches; he has looked impressive, emerging victorious in each instance. The consensus is that is Ismagulov truly wants to become a UFC superstar he is going to have start fighting on a much more regular basis. After all, the organization is not just built on skill inside the octagon; a fighter’s fanbase can often help them land the biggest fights at the best venues.
Guram Kutateladze is on a nine fight win streak that goes back to June of 2015. However, he hasn’t appeared inside the octagon since October of 2020. A layoff of close to two years is ill-advised for a man who has stated he has championship aspirations in his future. Make sure to tune in to see which of these two elite lightweight combatants has what it takes to make the next leap forward in their career!
Marquez vs. Rodrigues
Middleweight prospects Julian Marquez and Gregory Rodrigues are both relatively knew additions to the UFC, each having made their official debuts in the organization last year. Marquez is a Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, while Rodrigues is a Black belt. Both men have backgrounds in sanctioned Greco-Roman wrestling and both are known to be among the best grappling prospects in the middleweight division. Fans who enjoy watching two fundamentally sound fighters square off in a test of skills will greatly enjoy this matchup.
How to watch
UFC Austin can be viewed on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis available right here at World in Sport!